(ATR) In the final rush to the Rio 2016 Olympics, Rio 2016 President Carlos Nuzman and Mayor Eduardo Paes are running as fast as they can to deliver in August,
The Carioca duo is number two in the Around the Rings Golden 25 for 2016. Now in its 20th year, the survey ranks 25 individuals or events expected to have a major influence on the Olympics in the year ahead.
Nuzman, 73, is an important link between Rio and the IOC. For the past 15 years as Brazilian Olympic Committee president, the leader of the 2007 Pan American Games and then the 2016 Olympics, Nuzman has seen these Games from start to finish. An IOC member for 10 years until he had to retire in 2012, Nuzman remains an honorary member and is in constant contact with his former colleagues about the project.
While Rio has taken its share of criticism and doubt over the pace of preparations for the Olympics, Nuzman’s consistent presence has never wavered, a continuity which may have helped keep things moving forward.
Rio de Janeiro Mayor Eduardo Paes, 46, is truly the political force that will keep vital government support flowing for the Games, whether from his city government, the state of Rio de Janeiro or the federal government led by President Dilma Rousseff, herself hobbled by feeble public support and a legislature that wants to impeach her.
Without the energy of Paes, government involvement in the Olympic project might have been more problematic than the experience of the past six years of preparation.
The mayor is an articulate spokesman for the city, English-speaking and telegenic, a potentially powerful voice internationally on the positive impact of the Games.
Nuzman will be one to watch post-Games as he is expected to be a force in the rebuilding of the Pan American Sports Organization, the continental association representing the 41 National Olympic Committees of the Americas. The organization will need a new president later this year and Nuzman may well be a candidate.
2015 ranking: 4
Written by Ed Hula.
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